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Full text of "NightRider"

why he could live by himself all those years, and .a big, strong
man like that. Why he could be the way he was. Why, you
don't know—why, he had a picture of my mother on a table in
his room, and he'd look at it every night—I've seen him, when
he didn't know—and talk to it sometimes, just say a little
something that didn't mean anything, like somebody around
the house. You'd never guess that, would you?" She paused,
regarding him. Then she demanded, " Now, would you?"

"No," he replied.

"Nobody would," she said. "But that's why, and I'd see
him and hear him, and lie awake and want to be like that.
And then-----"

"Then what?"

"Then you," she finished. She rose from the chair, but
did not move away from it. The faint light struck at an
angle upward across her face, " But it wasn't any use," she
said then. " I thought it was, at first. But it wasn't."

" It's too bad," he rejoined.

" You needn't feel sorry for me," she told him; then added
bitterly: "I don't for you. There's others worse. Tol-
liver-----"

" Tolliver," he repeated, " Tolliver; I hadn't thought of him
in a long time."

" Tolliver, talking to people all his life, crowds, never being
anything except when his voice was talking to crowds; if he
had anything in him, any life, sucking it out of crowds,
talking. Crowds and women. Never being anything except
when he thought somebody else thought he was something.
Just that-----"

"That bastard," Mr. Munn declared, without warmth.

"—like sucking blood, living off something else. That's
why he was always after women, not even because he wanted
them."

" The bastard," Mr. Munn said again. He rose to a sitting
position on the bed, and swung his legs over the side to the
floor.

" That's why he was after me.  I know; I could tell."